Music has a way of bringing me, and probably most people, back to a specific moment, much like the sense of smell. Certain songs take me back to my wedding day or a high school dance with my best friends, and some other songs take me back to completely random moments that were tucked deep away in my memory, almost forgotten.
For the last couple of days I have been missing my mom very much. I’ve been reaching for the phone to call her, just to hear her voice, but then I stop short and realize I can’t. I’ve been wishing for one last bit of motherly advice, one last hug or even, at the very least, one last good laugh with her. Thoughts like this come and go and, even after more than two years, I have bad days.
Yesterday was a particularly crumby day. I was in a strange place, emotionally, and once my daughter was napping and I had nothing to drown out my thoughts, except the pounding rain on the window, my sadness seemed to magnify. It was so quiet in my house without the sound of my daughter’s voice filling the empty space like tiny little bells chiming happily, so I was left feeling very alone.
I turned on the radio, trying to get rid of the noise in my head, while prepping dinner. While I was standing there, browning the beef for my homemade sloppy joe sauce, the song, “I wanna Dance with Somebody,” started playing. Instantly, I was reminded of my mom when she was young, beautiful and vibrant. Whitney Houston’s pitch-perfect voice transported me back to the late 1980’s. I was standing in my little kitchen on Custer Drive in Toledo and my mom was there, at the stove. She was dancing and snapping her fingers while singing off-key into a big, black plastic spoon as she, too, was making dinner. The song was crackling out of her cassette-playing boom-box despite the antenna being stretched up and out as far as it would go.
I looked at her, in awe of her effortless, simple beauty. Her long wavy hair was pulled back into a ponytail that was swinging back and forth as she danced. She had on high-waisted stone-washed jeans and a faded Florida t-shirt. She was happy and carefree.
Back in my kitchen, I could feel a smile tugging at my resistant lips. My mood was lifting, despite the heaviness in my heart. I no longer felt alone, but instead could feel her life and her love all around me. I couldn’t help but to reach for my big wooden spoon to sing along, just like my mom did more than twenty years ago.
I am completely amazed that music can do this; can change a mood instantly, brighten even the darkest of days and conjure up old memories that were once completely forgotten. It is a truly remarkable gift that we shouldn’t take for granted.
Until Next time.